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Guam Election Commission Addresses Polling Complaints
No evidence found of improper voting as alleged

By Zita Taitano

HAGTA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Nov. 16, 2012) – Complaints filed with the Guam Election Commission (GEC) over alleged irregularities during the general election were addressed last night when the commission reconvened its meeting. There were a total of 23 complaints filed, 17 of which were presented at the Nov. 8 GEC meeting.

GEC legal counsel Jeffrey Cook, in his presentation to the GEC board, touched on the alleged Yoa "flying" voters – those who voted in Yoa but were not from the village.

Cook specifically referred to a complaint from a Jesse Blas who identified eight individuals. In his research, Cook found four of the eight individuals registered but didn’t vote while the rest cast their ballots. One of them, who just turned 18, was the only person who appeared new, but only because the individual had just turned 18.

"There doesn’t appear to be any evidence that these people were improperly voting. I don’t think there are significant facts here," Cook said.

Commission member John Taitano then recommended that Cook continue his research on whether there were any violations.

In his presentation, Cook also informed the board of complaints regarding the mayors-elect of Yoa and Asan/Maina, specifically their residency. He recommended that these complaints be presented in the court system.

Misspelling

Also discussed was the issue surrounding the misspelling of Yigo Vice Mayor Ronald Flores' name on the ballot. Flores' first name showed "Roland." Cook said if Flores wants to pursue this issue, it is recommended that he do so in court.

Republican senatorial candidate Moe Cotton’s request on how many write-ins he received was also brought up. Cook said he informed Cotton that they don't procure the results of write-ins.

The GEC board members also went over matters pertaining to provisional ballots and a suggestion was made for a three-member committee to be established and review log books with regard to provisional ballots.

GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan reported there were 100 provisional ballots but also informed the board that a log book was located.

GEC board chairman Joe Mesa also touched on a number of concerns that were brought up, including that of a precinct official who noticed 41 partisan ballots that were only printed on one side.

But Taitano said he visited that particular precinct and noted the ballots were isolated.

"It's a printer error, but when we were counting it here, we should have caught that," Mesa pointed out.

As for homebound votes, there were 271 applications but only 224 were processed.

"There were quite a few that came in during Election Day and the day before. We ended up not servicing a few," Pangelinan said, adding that at least 47 were pending.

Pangelinan said most of the homebound applicants were contacted, thus showing there was an effort to visit them. But in the end there were 12 who were not serviced at all.

Mesa has asked Pangelinan to look into the matter further, given the fact that a number of voters were denied.

The next GEC meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m.

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